First Online Collaborative Mental Health care conference

The Cowie Family Medicine Clinic was one of the early pilot sites selected in 1997 to implement and study a "Shared Mental Health Care " model which brought psychiatrists and mental health practitioners to this community based clinic. Following her participation in this model, she served as the Atlantic Canadian representative for Family Practice on the National Working group on Shared Mental Health Care until 2010. The members and innovative work of the working group inspired change in her practice of family medicine. She then had the opportunity to Co-lead the planning of the 12th Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care conference that was held in Halifax in June 2011. The planning committee was determined to raise awareness and bring down the glass ceiling that separated people and families from being meaningful partners in their care. This conference attracted upto 500 participants, received several standing ovations from the audience and presented a wide array of scientific presentations that were spread out over three days.

This valuable material was captured digitally and has been used to develop the First Online Collaborative Mental Health care conference. Through this initiative, thousands of interested people, their families and practitioners can access the high quality presentations made at the conference on innovative partnerships in Collaborative care of mental health and addiction issues.

During the planning of the Halifax conference, her attendance at the Collaborative Family Health Association's Conference in Kentucky led to a strong partnership with this sister organisation in the United States. To learn more about the development of Collaborative mental health care in the US please read the blog on the subject below.

Healthy Nova Scotians


Upon the release of the John Ross report " The patient journey through Emergency Care in Nova Scotia", Dr. AJ was involved in forming the "Coalition for Healthy Nova Scotians" . This website has a collection of a number of collaborative initiatives aimed at changing the delivery of health care services in Nova Scotia.

More recently, she was one of the 14 member committed that developed ; Come Together: a report with 61 recommendations for a Mental Health and addictions strategy for Nova Scotia. All 61 recommendations were accepted as part of Minister Maureen MacDonald's "Together We Can": Nova Scotia's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy released in May 2012.

Dr.AJ was recently awarded the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians Award for Excellence 2012, "For Excellence in advocating for accessible Quality mental health care for all Nova Scotians"


Changing Directions, Changing Lives: Canada Launches a National Mental Health Strategy

Posted By Ajantha Jayabarathan, Thursday, June 14, 2012

In the early 1990s, there was the widespread recognition at the grass roots that mental illness and addictions greatly contributed to human suffering. This was evident in communities, in the workplace, in family doctors offices, during inpatient and outpatient visits at hospitals and in long term care facilities. And everyone did their best within the existing system of health care. When issues were identified, a referral for consultation with mental health professionals, private or publicly funded, was usually arranged and the process was no different than being sent to a cardiologist for issues identified with the cardiovascular system. Read the full entry here >>

Collaborative Family Healthcare Association: Value Added For Canadians

Posted By Ajantha "AJ"Jayabarathan, Thursday, January 05, 2012

Kentucky had settled into the month of October in 2010, when I arrived there to attend the 12th annual CFHA conference. It was not only my first visit to Kentucky but also my first attendance at the conference and I was ready for an adventure. I expected to hear, see and learn much that was different from my home city of Halifax Nova Scotia.

 People spoke with a distinct drawl that was friendly; the skyscrapers loomed; the city blocks hosted an interesting array of monuments and storefronts; the downtown core was both inviting and somewhat dangerous in its layout; and I plunged into this journey of discovery. Read the full entry here >>